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Florida's New Gambling Deal, Criminal Justice Reform, Bayfront Jazz Festival

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PEDRO PORTAL
/
Miami Herald
The world's first guitar-shaped hotel at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

On this Thursday, April 29, episode of Sundial,

Florida's New Gambling Deal

Imagine a Floridian gambler’s dream: craps, roulette, sports betting. And you don’t even have to get on a plane. You can stay in South Florida and Vegas will come to you.

A new deal between the state and the Seminole Tribe aims to do just that. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the agreement last week.

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“The biggest thing is that it would bring mobile sports betting to Florida … all of the transactions would go through the Seminole Tribe under this deal and sports teams could benefit by offering it at their stadiums. Parimutuels could benefit by putting their brand on the mobile sports betting app and then getting a cut of the pie. They’re also allowing the tribe to go to full Las Vegas-style casinos, which would mean they'd add craps and roulette,” said Mary Ellen Klas, the Tallahassee bureau chief for the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times.

Sundial reached out to the Seminole Tribe to be a part of the program Thursday, they did not reply to the request in time for the show's airing. The offer still stands for a later date.

The deal is a historic achievement for both parties. But, it still has to go through some hurdles before it can take effect and it’s receiving pushback from gambling opponents.

“The number one concern in South Florida is if there’s going to be an additional casino or in Miami-Dade, for example, there's talk of somebody selling a license and maybe selling it to Donald Trump or somebody who might buy out Donald Trump. There's also concern about Jeffrey Soffer moving one of his two gaming licenses from the Big Easy Casino in Broward to Miami Beach. That would require legislation and the opponents are really concerned about that,” said Klas.

Florida's New Gambling Deal
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Criminal Justice Reform

President Joe Biden addressed Congress, and the nation, Wednesday night following his first 100 days in office and called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act by the end of May.

The act would limit qualified immunity as a defense and would lower the criminal intent standard in cases where a police officer is charged with misconduct.

“I think that what we're seeing are signs of transformation and change. I welcome these signs. I'm hopeful, my heart beats and leaps with the fact that we at least now have this on the front burner. The problem that I see is the way that the media has mis-framed the issue. With all due respect, it limits where we are now. The challenge would be, in my opinion, to re-conceptualize, rethink the criminal justice system as a whole,” said Donald M. Jones, a constitutional law professor at the University of Miami.

He has been following criminal justice reform issues for decades.

On the state level, there’s a bill in Tallahassee that would set use of force standards for police officers.

“I think the most powerful thing you could do with police is what I would call community control. You could have people and the local community decide, well, for example, does a policeman have to live in this community? Should they carry a gun? ... give people in those local communities the power to control police? That would be the biggest thing you could do,” said Jones.

Criminal Justice Reform
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Bayfront Jazz Festival

The Bayfront Jazz Festival kicks off Friday in downtown Miami. The scaled down event at Bayfront Park is strictly following COVID protocols — 1,500 attendees instead of the 10,000 capacity, spaced out seating, hand sanitizers and masks available to everyone there.

“I can only imagine what it will feel like, which is just great excitement. I just feel really privileged to have the opportunity to be on that stage and really share the stage with such incredible musicians. Even just having to wake up early tomorrow morning and get myself to the airport and go through that whole routine, in a previous lifetime pre-COVID that was taken for granted,” said Grammy-nominated producer and percussionist Mark Guiliana.

For those uncomfortable with in-person events, there will be a live stream available.

The line-up includes jazz and electronic musicians across the globe, from Dee-Dee BridgeWater to Chucho Valdez and Roy Ayers.

Bayfront Jazz Festival
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Suria is Sundial's fall 2020 high school intern and a production assistant.
Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.